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Does promoting school attendance reduce child labor? Evidence from Burkina Faso's BRIGHT project

  • de Hoop, Jacobus
  • Rosati, Furio C.

Using data from BRIGHT, an integrated program that aims to improve school participation in rural communities in Burkina Faso, we investigate the impact of school subsidies and increased access to education on child work. Regression discontinuity estimates demonstrate that, while BRIGHT substantially improved school participation, it did not reduce – in fact may have increased – children's participation in economic activities and household chores. This combination of increased school participation and work can be explained by the introduction of a simple non-convexity in the standard model of altruistic utility maximizing households. If education programs are implemented to achieve a combination of increased school participation and a reduction in child work they may either have to be combined with different interventions that effectively reduce child work or they may have to be tuned more carefully to the incentives and constraints the child laborer faces.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Economics of Education Review.

Volume (Year): 39 (2014)
Issue (Month): C ()
Pages: 78-96

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Handle: RePEc:eee:ecoedu:v:39:y:2014:i:c:p:78-96
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/econedurev

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  1. Guido Imbens & Thomas Lemieux, 2007. "Regression Discontinuity Designs: A Guide to Practice," NBER Working Papers 13039, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Harounan Kazianga & Damien de Walque & Harold Alderman, 2009. "Educational and Health Impacts of Two School Feeding Schemes: Evidence from a Randomized Trial in Rural Burkina Faso," Economics Working Paper Series 0904, Oklahoma State University, Department of Economics and Legal Studies in Business.
  3. Alessandro Cigno, 2009. "The Economics of Child Labour," Chapters, in: Labor and Employment Law and Economics, chapter 14 Edward Elgar.
  4. Harounan Kazianga & Dan Levy & Leigh L. Linden & Matt Sloan, 2012. "The Effects of "Girl-Friendly" Schools: Evidence from the BRIGHT School Construction Program in Burkina Faso," NBER Working Papers 18115, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  10. Edmonds, Eric V., 2008. "Child Labor," Handbook of Development Economics, Elsevier.
  11. Kondylis, Florence & Manacorda, Marco, 2010. "School Proximity and Child Labor: Evidence from Rural Tanzania," CEPR Discussion Papers 7890, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  12. Goulart, P. & Bedi, A.S., 2005. "Child labour and educational success in Portugal," ISS Working Papers - General Series 19174, International Institute of Social Studies of Erasmus University Rotterdam (ISS), The Hague.
  13. Cameron, Lisa, 2009. "Can a public scholarship program successfully reduce school drop-outs in a time of economic crisis? Evidence from Indonesia," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 28(3), pages 308-317, June.
  14. Ravallion, Martin & Wodon, Quentin, 2000. "Does Child Labour Displace Schooling? Evidence on Behavioural Responses to an Enrollment Subsidy," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 110(462), pages C158-75, March.
  15. Kathleen Beegle & Rajeev Dehejia & Roberta Gatti, 2004. "Why Should We Care About Child Labor? The Education, Labor Market, and Health Consequences of Child Labor," NBER Working Papers 10980, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. McCrary, Justin, 2008. "Manipulation of the running variable in the regression discontinuity design: A density test," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 142(2), pages 698-714, February.
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